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As sci-fi fans, we all know that unless an awards ceremony is specifically centered on science fiction, genre programming doesn’t stand much of a chance against the plethora of mainstream media out there. That said, the nominations for the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards were announced this morning, and science and sci-fi programming actually made a strong appearance, thanks in large part to Fox’s Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey. The biggest story of the announcement was actually what didn’t make the list—they will rue their ignorance of Orphan Black’s dramatic superiority—but that’s for another story. For now, we celebrate.
The Neil deGrasse Tyson-hosted Cosmos was the definite standout, though it obviously didn’t get recognized in the Outstanding Lead Actor category or anything like that. Some of the infotainment series’ more notable and deserving noms were for Outstanding or Documentary Series, Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction, and Outstanding Special and Visual Effects, while the show’s art direction, music, main titles, and sound editing were also recognized. With twelve total nominations, it tied with acclaimed narrative series like True Detective and Orange is the New Black. (Breaking Bad earned 16 nominations.)
Visual and sound categories are often where sci-fi does well, and it’s no surprise that Fox’s Almost Human and The CW’s The 100 join Cosmos on the Outstanding Effects list. The Walking Dead, also up for Outstanding Sound Editing, net an Outstanding Special and Visual Effects in a Supporting Role nod. Are they trying to say there aren’t enough zombies in the show? Way to be sly, Emmys. Had they introduced the category Least Outstanding Handling of A Drama, Fox’s treatment of Almost Human would be a sure frontrunner.
Fans are always going to argue over the quality of Matt Groening’s animated shows, but the Emmys have always been kind to Futurama, which was again nominated for Outstanding Animated Program. It was Futurama‘s final season on Comedy Central, and while there were a few lows, I found it hit all the highs needed to get me through the year. Also nominated in this category is Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, while the Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program category recognized both Adventure Time and Regular Show. If there’s a way that those two could tie for the win, I don’t think anyone would mutiny. (Also worth nothing: the multi-Emmy-winning Futurama actor Maurice LaMarche is deservedly up for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance .)
Finally, Mythbusters earned a nomination for Outstanding Structured Reality Program, Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman for Outstanding Informational Series or Special, and Revolution for Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series. Not too shabby, Emmys. We’ll be looking for Extant to make it next year, so don’t go patting yourself on the back.